DMB still has it

Dave Matthews Band sounds better every time I see them. (I’ve been seven? eight? times… not sure.) Last night was one of the best lineups I’ve seen. They now have two horn players to replace the deceased one, both of them are fantastic. Tim Reynolds was there. If you don’t know Tim, he and Dave were partners for a long time before DMB started up. If you listen to nearly any DMB song that has both acoustic and electric guitar, odds are good he’s the electric guitar part.

I was very impressed by the new material. Although they still do very long jams, the new material is much more focused. They are more songs than jams, and this is a very good thing.

The only negative I have is one certain kind of song Dave writes. I swear his picks out five random notes in an odd rhythm and decides to make a riff out of it that he repeats over and over for 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if the five notes actually fit together. He can make it work because he’s Dave Matthews damnit! Well, sometimes it does, sometimes it don’t. Combine that with his relentless experiments with stop start rhythms and you get a whole group of songs that kinda sound alike. And once you deduct all the other parts on top of the riff, that kinda stink.

I must close with the best quote about DMB:

Man, you know what I hate? Dave Matthews.,, It’s the whitest band ever, which is saying something considering 3 of the members are black, and Dave Matthews is literally an African American (born in South Africa). His music can be heard in Whole Foods stores, Live Earth concerts, or blasting from the speakers of open-topped Jeeps parked on curbs everywhere.

Arlen Specter joins the Democrats

With Specter’s defection, and Franken likely to be seated any day, the Democrats now have 60 Senators, a fillibuster-proof majority. Here are some reactions from around the web.

It is a sing of the GOP that a centrist candidate switches parties. It is a sign of their ideological idiocy that they allowed Pat Toomey to run against Specter, driving him from the party. Very bad strategy.

This ought to keep Joe Biden critics quiet for a while also, he just delivered them a Senate seat.

The Big One. Hundred.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Boston to celebrate the 100th birthday of my grandmother. One hundred years old. Amazing. When she was bringing up her kids, the ice man would bring a two-hundred pound block up four floors on his back. She’s seen so much.

She’s an incredible woman. Her body is failing her, but her mind is still sharp as a tack. It’s going to be a fun trip.

Children: Then and Now

I’ve read this piece several times now. It hits home. Read it now. Go ahead.

Our oldest is six years old. He has never been left on his own in the house for more than thirty seconds. He is allowed to go to the house next door if he tells us about it ahead of time. How do you balance a kid’s need to assert their own identity, to grow and feel secure on their own, with parental fears about safety? I think the author is right, we’ve gone too far on the safety side. It takes a big leap of faith in your child (and yourself!) to start giving them the space that they need. Gaining independece also means they are growing up and that presents mixed feelings to a parent.


Poker Update

I had the cards. I had the skill. I didn’t have the luck.

First hand of the night. Small blinds limps into my big blind, I call with Q-8. The flop is 8-6-5. With top pair I raise it, he calls. The turn is a 4. He had a 7, connecting his straight, taking 30% of my stack right there.

An hour later history repeats itself. I raise preflop with K-10. Flop is 8-9-10. Turns out he had 6-7 underneath (why did he call?). At least I got out of that cheap, I incorrectlyread him for A-10 and folded.

Me and one other player are shortstacked. The rebuy clock is almost up, I am sure he’s going all-in with any two cards. He goes all in with 800. I have K-Q suited. I go all in myself, 1300. Big blind mutters to himself and calls with A-10. He knocks us both out and I rebuy. Question: Should he have called the all-in bets? I don’t think it was a really bad play, but I wouldn’t have done it.

I go all in preflop with K-J. Short stack calls me. He had K-10. Guess what the river card was? If you guessed 10 you’re getting the theme of this post.

I go all-in with A-Q suited. A pair of 9s call me. The flop is A…, it’s A-9-x. Oh, c’mon! The Queen on the river is just insulting. I’m out.

Lots of good playable hands, right? I also had bullets twice, stole quite a few blinds, and basically failed to make any big mistakes. And yet… some nights the poker gods are against you.

Tonight: -$40
Running Total: I don’t know, I’m too tired to look it up. -$100?

A Day of Silence

I have some kind of ungodly throat problem. It’s been building for almost a week. Over the weekend it became serious. Swallowing burns. Saliva builds up until I have to make a disgusting dangling spit thread, or swallow and accept the pain as my own.

It helps if I don’t talk or use my voice. The last two days I have spent virtually silent. An odd phrase here or there, a few sentences when I’m feeling well, but mostly nothing. Gestures and facial expressions. It has been interesting to see how well I can make myself known without having to speak. After a bit of practice it gets easy to express most thoughts. I am seeing the world in a different way. I may try out Silence Day this year — not to be confused with The Day of Silence! Pete Townshend is a big supporter of Silence Day. Unfortunately, his song about it stinks. What a wasted opportunity!

I also found out that I yell at my kids a lot more than I thought I did.

Links o’ Interest

Alien vs. Predator

Gif me your best smile

Facebook APB catches drunk thief.

Disney templates

Welcome to Romania


Amazing basketball shot

Google Street View: Tall car, short bridge

AP issues itself a cease and desist letter

Atheist motivational posters

Meth-lab Feng Shui

Worst advertising slogan of the year

One way to explain cocaine test results

Life expectancy grows

Kris Kristofferson is my new hero

Ten Principles for a Black Swan-proof World

Understanding deflation (from

Why lobbying continues: study shows 22,000% return on lobbying investments

Customer Executive

I’m on hold with Comcast. In between the oddly un-soulful blues hold music, they play recordings to upsell me on various products.

..voice mail with web access and 12 popular calling features! Make Comcast for home phone service. Ask your Customer Account Executive about Comcast digital voice today!

Now I don’t know if I’ll ever be an executive. But I do know if I ever do become an executive, the last damnt thing I will be doing is answering phones for a living!

Links o’ Interest

Lost Cat: Reward


Bill Gates on Facebook

Michael Bay eats cereal

Art from old cassette tapes

A good woman can bring balance to your life.

Nick Cage does Japanese Commercials

8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism

Where Are They Now: 6 “Stars” of Embarrassing Viral Videos

Clipart stop-motion movie

Use Your Illusion III

The complete history of The Joker

PETA the slaughterhouse: placing 7 out of 21,000 pets last year.

Australian Sex slave teen killed her tormentor with a shotgun, cut up his body into pieces, buried and hid the remains. She was set completely and utterly free.

More airport outrage: The unattended bag. And another one.

Poker Update

The less said about the first round the better. I was physically exhausted and played badly. I let myself get sucked into pissing away money on a draw, played overly aggressive with marginal hands, and was unlucky to boot. Blech.

After the rebuy I played much better. But the bad beats killed me. With J-10, the flop is J-10-5. Only one other player. He goes in. He goes in with lots of stuff so I easily call with my top two pair. He has K-9. The turn is a Q, giving him the straight.

I fight back and by the end of hour two I am right around average with ~2500 chips. The player to my right raise the 300 blinds to 600. I call with K-J suited, everyone else folds. The flop is K-Q-x. He checks, I instantly go all in (another 1900 or so). He calls with Q-9. The river is a 9, knocking me out.

It was discouraging. I had gotten myself together and was playing well but was killed by lady luck. That’s how it goes.

Two points of interest:
I spent a lot of time trying to get a read on my nemesis from last week. He was involved in several big hands. Each time he had something. It wasn’t always much but it was always something. He actually knocked me out in the first round. I limped in with 4-4, only three players. The flop was J-8-6. I was short-stacked. I gamble no one had a jack and raised it. He re-raised me and I had to call. He had 6-x. That’s quite aggressive on his part, but not a pure naked bluff either. In the end I still have no idea when he’s playing very loosely and when he has the goods though.

It’s been a long time since I was playing from ahead. It’s been a long time since I got a big hand in the first hour. I feel like I am always behind and struggling to catch up. I don’t know what that means, but it sucks.

Tonight: -$40
Running Total: -$60